Showing Archived Posts

The Incredible Saga of the Salton Sea

Posted June 5th, 2012 at 5:51 pm (UTC-4)

You’ve probably heard, and perhaps even dreamed, of the French Riviera: This, however, is the story of California’s Riviera on the Salton Sea, which turned out to be quite a few cuts below, and many, many a yacht short of, the Mediterranean playground: It’s hard to believe that such scenes as this abound in what […]

Heart of the Heartland

Posted April 20th, 2012 at 9:52 am (UTC-4)

The United States is finally getting around to building a memorial to Ike: Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Kansas lad who became one of our greatest heroes and most popular presidents. But there’s a problem. It’s the Kansas part, even though Eisenhower said, in a 1945 speech in his hometown after leading Allied forces to victory […]

Tinnissee, Y’all

Posted January 17th, 2011 at 5:01 pm (UTC-4)
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I haven’t written much about my father. That’s because I didn’t know him very well. He split when I was four. That’s a whole story for another time. But I spent a little time with him late in his life, after he had remarried, to a lovely retired schoolteacher whom Carol and I liked very […]

The Funky Fifty

Posted January 10th, 2011 at 4:45 pm (UTC-4)
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I’m a Buckeye. Carol is a Gopher. A buckeye is a nut, so I guess that fits me, but Carol is assuredly not a buck-toothed rodent. Yet, since I’m from Ohio — the “Buckeye State” — and Carol’s a native of the “Gopher State” — Minnesota — you’d be safe in calling us by our […]


Posted November 29th, 2010 at 2:31 pm (UTC-4)

A sure way to get a giggle out of your young child is to challenge him or her to SPELL “Mississippi” — and fast! M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I.    M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. It’s actually not as hard as it looks, once you get the rhythm of it. The Old South state of Mississippi, not the lazy “Old Man River” Mississippi, on […]

Red, Hot, and Phew!

Posted November 26th, 2010 at 1:38 pm (UTC-4)

You may have read my two recent postings about so-called “Cajun Country” in swampy southwest Louisiana. Well, it’s time to get your swamp boots and mosquito repellent on again, for right in the middle of the ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and the black bayous — or slow-moving streams — full of alligators […]

Battle Row and Beyond

Posted November 12th, 2010 at 4:17 pm (UTC-4)
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There’s a lot more to Southwest Louisiana, about which I wrote last time, than Cajun honky-tonks, alligator-infested wetlands, and pepper-sauce factories. Tucked down in the corner, away from the spooky swamps, is Louisiana’s . . . pick your analogy . . . odd duck, loose cannon, eccentricity in an already-eccentric state, or wild and woolly […]

Bad Fruit on the Email Tree

Posted October 21st, 2010 at 2:05 pm (UTC-4)

Once you start forwarding lighthearted email — jokes, puzzles, wacky cat videos — to friends and colleagues, you’re sure to get a blizzard more in return.  Many of the messages will contain amazing purported “facts” that seem perfectly plausible.  A lot of them turn out to be blatantly inaccurate “urban legends” or worthless bunkum. I […]

Smart Towns, Clueless Kids

Posted October 15th, 2010 at 4:13 pm (UTC-4)

Americans love lists and rankings — the Top 10 this, the Hottest that, the Best and Worst something else — and many magazines and Web sites get their highest readership when they publish a list., for instance, recently dug through U.S. Census data and compiled a list of the 10 metro areas with the […]


Posted October 1st, 2010 at 5:05 pm (UTC-4)

  Even Americans who travel a lot often manage to miss one or two U.S. states.  Perhaps distant but unforgettable Alaska or Hawaii, but not usually both.  Quite often one of the last states on our wish list is North Dakota, our uppermost Plains state, hard by two equally obscure Canadian prairie provinces.  It could […]

Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


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